Word of Mouth 09.29.2012
Part 1: The Bad Science of the Left/Tweeting Political Poems
Think the right has cornered the market on denying science? No way, says Alex Berezow. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology and is co-author of the book Science Left Behind: Feel Good Falacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left.
Last month, Twitter launched its political index, a daily measurement of twitter users' feelings towards the candidates drawn from nearly two million tweets each week. So far, the index is running parallel with Gallup Polls. A number of political junkies are way ahead of the index, they’ve been following novelist Elinor Lipman’s daily political poems since April. Lipman is author of nine novels and a new book of humor called Tweet Land of Liberty .
Part 2: Laughing at Nothing
In 1995, Dr. Madan Kataria began an article he titled “Laughter – The Best Medicine.” He found decades of research on the therapeutic effects of laughter and wanted to investigate further. He managed to convince four people at a public park in Mumbai, India, to start a laughter club. At first they used jokes, but when the jokes ran out, they began to laugh at nothing. It was the genesis of laughter yoga. At last count, there were more than 8,000 laughter yoga clubs in 65 countries…including one right here in Concord, New Hampshire. Sean Hurley strapped on his giggle goggles for this radio field trip.
For those who aren't sure how to perform Laughter Yoga, please watch this informative video:
Part 3: The Dogs of War
When we call dogs ‘man’s best friend’, we’re typically referring to their value as companions and protectors - but canines have a long history of helping people with affairs far more solemn that playing fetch. For centuries, dogs have played a pivotal role in aiding the disabled, in hunting, for search and rescue operations, and for their service in police and military applications. After a long hiatus, U.S. bomb-sniffing dogs were re-introduced to the battlefield in 2007. There are now some six-hundred military dogs deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sharon Weinberger is a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson international center for scholars in Washington DC, and a columnist for BBC future – where we found her latest article Upgrading the Dogs of War.
Part 4: David Wax Museum
As a band, David Wax Museum is a kind of palate cleanser, take some Mexican folk songs, run em through an indie pop bath, add a dash of southern fiddle, maybe a donkey’s jawbone and you’ve got a musical breath of fresh air. David Wax Museum’s new album Knock Knock Get Up has a kind of brightness that you might not expect on an album produced in an old farmhouse in the bracing cold of a Maine winter.
Check out David Wax Museum playing for NPR Music's Field Recording: